“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32
Chapter 4 of Paul’s letter to his faithful friends in Ephesus is loaded with eloquent words dense in meaning. He speaks to them and to us about unity, living as children of light, putting off the old self, and guarding the words that come out of our mouths. How I long to exchange once and for all the bitterness, anger, slander, and malice (v. 31) that come from my mouth for kindness, compassion, and words of forgiveness. These are what always ought to mark me out as a child of the King. I want to trade unwholesome talk for what is helpful in building others up.
Then why do I falter again and again? Perhaps you are wrestling with that question, too. I know that when my words betray the sin in my heart, I grieve over them later and wish I could erase them. But when my words breathe even in some small way the freshness and brightness of Jesus Christ, both I and the hearer are heartened. If words from a desperately sinful person can restore, how much more so will the Living Word of Jesus, breathed into each one of us, restore us to Him!
“The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.” (Romans 10:8)